Borrowers in Obama Housing Program Re-Defaulting, Watchdog Says

July 24, 2013
mortgage lending news

The Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) found in its quarterly report to Congress that borrowers who received help through the federal Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) are falling back into default on their mortgages at alarming rates. Since the initiative was first launched four years ago, approximately 1.2 million loan workouts have been completed. During that time, more than 306,000 borrowers have re-defaulted on their loans. More than 88,000 others are in danger of doing the same. Additionally, the inspector general determined that the longer homeowners stay in HAMP, the more likely they are to default. Those who have been in the program since 2009 are re-defaulting at a rate of 46 percent. "Treasury needs to research why so many borrowers are dropping out of the program," concluded SIGTARP head Christy Romero. The inspector general's own research has shown that borrowers most like to default again after receiving a modification were those who received the smallest reduction in their mortgage payments or principal balance, were still upside down on their mortgage, or had subprime credit scores and high overall debt when the modification was carried out.
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